For many, having the newest electronic device or gaming console is a need, not a want. Or not getting their daily $5 latte or cappuccino is grounds for having a bad day. But for over 2,000 people in Topeka, having a place to call home or finding their next meal is a need. Nationally, hunger and homelessness is spotlighted November 16 – 24th by the National Coalition for the Homeless. Closer to home, the local Washburn chapter of Oxfam is hosting a week-long awareness campaign.
This week-long awareness campaign will run from Nov. 18 – Nov. 22 and will range from trainings on how to talk to your local senators and representatives, panel discussions with the local Rescue Mission and some of their current and past residents by putting a face to the issue, film screenings, a hunger banquet and ending with cooking and serving a meal for victims of homelessness. The Oxfam chapter at Washburn has also partnered with the Mulvane Art Museum and Kansas Association of Community Action Programs to host an art exhibit called Poverty A:Z during this time that highlights the art within the community and geared towards homelessness. This multi-media exhibit will be in the Garvey Theater from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day of this week and incorporated photography, music and the spoken word. More information can be found at http://www.kacap.org/Resources/PovertyAZ/
Oxfam is an international organization that rally’s around the subjects poverty, homelessness and injustice. At Washburn, president Angelique Flinn, who started the chapter 2 years ago, runs the Oxfam chapter. Flinn has been involved in Oxfam for a while and was a change leader 2 years ago and that taught her how to run an organization and has really enriched her leadership abilities.
Flinn says, “This is an opportunity to show Washburn students how the hungry and homeless really live and how they survive. I urge them to attend some of these functions and really learn how they can give back to the people in their community.”
A list of events is below but what Flinn would like to remind people is “This is a just one week in the year where we try to bring awareness to the forefront but many of these people are living this reality, 52 weeks of the year” says Flinn.
Some key points of the event are as follows:
Monday Nov. 18 – Let Your Voice Be Heard (5-6:30 p.m. Lincoln Room)
Partnering with RESULTS (a non-profit geared towards ending hunger) will have one of their staff present to do advocacy training to help people learn how to talk to their Senators and Representatives.
Tuesday Nov. 19 – Faces of the Homelessness Panel (6-8 p.m. Shawnee Room)
Partnering with the Topeka Rescue Mission to host a panel of current and past homeless who will be telling their stories.
Wednesday Nov. 20 – Inequality for All film screening (6:30 p.m. Hen 100)
Partnering with the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice,…